Suffocation is a bitter, sickening feeling of deprivation that allows the life to slowly seep from one’s body. It is then that a cold, dark death engulfs them, taking all light and hope of life away from them. As their body rots, their name is forgotten, until eventually they cease to exist in body and in mind. They are left to walk the unknown lands of death alone, wanting nothing but revenge on he who suffocated them; revenge against you. It is the fault of mankind that the Earth, he who is being suffocated, is being robbed of its potential; what was once a lively, luscious planet of green is now a swamp of debris. It is both ignorance and oblivion that drives man to commit such heinous wrongdoings against planet Earth; if one’s actions do not immediately affect them in a direct manner, the consequences may be difficult to care about or comprehend to their fullest extent.
There are many factors that contribute to the death and depletion of the Earth’s forests, animals, waters and natural resources. One of the biggest culprits, however, is solid pollution, namely plastics and garbage. While carrying out one’s daily life, production of waste is inevitable. However, much of the waste that is produced is unnecessary and can be avoided, such as plastic water bottles. Single-use plastic water bottles are one of the leading pollutants of the Earth’s land, shorelines and waters; slowly, they are suffocating the Earth, leading it to an unnecessary and untimely death. To stop the unnecessary degradation and decay of the Earth, a ban should be placed on the use of disposable plastic water bottles.

The problematic nature of single-use plastic water bottles begins with the large amount of fossil fuel that is required to make them. It is estimated that “if you fill a plastic bottle with liquid so that it is 25% full, that’s roughly how much oil it took to make the bottle” (Lights 1). Processes that convert fossil fuels to other materials, such as plastics, release harmful toxins and ozone-deteriorating carbon dioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in global warming. The large amounts of oil that are required to create the plastic water bottles add up quickly, which consequently contributes greatly to the deterioration of the Earth’s atmosphere. Furthermore, a constant demand for these water bottles requires their constant transportation, which also contributes to the pollution of the Earth’s air. Therefore, the fabrication and transportation of single-use plastic water bottles contributes to the degradation of the Earth, much the same as their impact on animal life does.

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Many disposable plastic water bottles end up accumulating in large bodies of water, such as lakes and oceans. As a result, much of this plastic ends up “in the stomachs of a variety of animal species that mistake them for food” (Lights 1). Wildlife has not evolved to differentiate between food and plastic, nor can their bodies handle the intake of inedible material. As a result, many aquatic animals die, which disrupts the food chain and leaves entire species’ extinct. If a ban were to be placed upon disposable plastic bottles, the amount of plastic that accumulates in the Earth’s waters would greatly diminish, resulting in the death of much fewer animals. This problem is amplified, because the recyclable nature of these plastic bottles is often disregarded.

It is popular belief that the use of disposable plastic water bottles is acceptable because they are recyclable, but this is not the case; most of them never meet the recycling bin. It is estimated that “80 percent of the 50 billion plastic water bottles purchased in the U.S. every year are not recycled” (Artwohl 1).  This means that approximately 40 billion plastic bottles end up in the Earth’s landfills every year in the United States of America alone, consuming mass amounts of land. Furthermore, when rainwater washes over the landfills that contain plastic bottles, many harmful toxins seep out of the plastic and travel through the Earth’s soil. These toxins kill many forms of plant and aquatic life, and leave the affected soil and water useless. These effects can be prevented by discontinuing the use of single-use plastic bottles, which can be done by implementing more eco-friendly alternatives.

The negative effects that disposable plastic water bottles have on the Earth are unnecessary and preventable, because there are more eco-friendly alternatives. Reusable plastic water bottles are not only cheaper to use and produce much less waste, but they are a much healthier alternative as well. Many disposable plastic water bottles contain toxins and chemicals that are harmful to the human body, such as BPA.  After multiple studies on the effects of this harmful substance, “Canada proposed declaring BPA toxic because of reproductive and developmental toxicity” (CBC News 1). Most reusable plastic water bottles do not contain BPA or other harmful chemicals or toxins, and their lifespan is much longer than that of a single-use plastic water bottle. Alternatives to the unhealthy and environmentally unfriendly disposable plastic water bottles exist; it is thus that the banning of these single-use water bottles will not take away from the lives of most individuals.

Therefore, a ban should be placed on the use of single-use plastic water bottles, because they have a negative impact on the health of the Earth’s land, water and animals. The fabrication and transportation of these water bottles releases harmful gases that contribute to global warming. Many of these plastic bottles end up in oceans or landfills, leading to the death of many aquatic animals and the chemical pollution of soil and water. Healthier, more eco-friendly alternatives exist, and it is thus that there is no need for the use of disposable plastic water bottles. If no measures are taken to save the Earth, it, along with all life, will perish and die; the banning of disposable plastic water bottles is the first step to save our planet.